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Trump's chief of staff Meadows diagnosed with COVID-19

Trump's chief of staff Meadows diagnosed with COVID-19

FILE PHOTO: White House chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks on a phone on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows has been diagnosed with the coronavirus as the nation sets daily records for confirmed cases for the pandemic.

Two senior administration officials confirmed on Friday (Nov 6) that Meadows had tested positive for the virus, which has killed more than 236,000 Americans so far this year. 

They offered no details on when the chief of staff came down with the virus or his current condition. His diagnosis was first reported by Bloomberg News.

Meadows travelled with Trump in the run-up to election day and last appeared in public on early Wednesday morning without a mask as Trump falsely declared victory in the vote count. 

READ: US COVID-19 cases hit record for third day, topping 127,000

He had been one of the close aides around Trump when the president came down with the virus more than a month ago, but was tested daily and maintained his regular work schedule.

It marked the latest case of the virus in the West Wing, coming not even two weeks after Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence's chief of staff, and other aides tests positive for the virus. 

Trump, first lady Melania Trump and at least two dozen others tested positive for the virus in early October, after Trump held large gatherings of people not wearing face masks, including the ceremony announcing the nomination of now-Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Trump has repeatedly said that the nation is “rounding the turn” on the pandemic, which was top of mind for voters in Tuesday's election.

COVID-19 cases in the US have increased more than 50 per cent in the past two weeks. According to an AP analysis of data from John Hopkins University, the seven-day rolling average for daily new cases rose from 61,166 on Oct 22 to 94,625 on Nov 5.

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Source: AP/lk

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